It’s time! Or maybe not quite, but if you’ve clicked here, chances are you’re getting ready for your big day! At the Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, we know that preparing for the arrival of a new baby can be exciting, especially when it’s time to pack the hospital bag. And in all that excitement, it can be super easy to miss out on packing something you’d regret not having once the time comes. But don’t worry about it – we’ve got you!
For a smooth experience, it’s crucial to have everything you need and nothing more. In this article, we provide a comprehensive hospital bag checklist for moms and babies. We’ve drawn from Babylist parents’ experiences and our own childbirth experiences to come up with an extensive list of everything that moms and babies may need or want while in the hospital. Read on to learn more about What to pack in your hospital bag!
When to Pack Your Hospital Bag
It’s a good idea to have your bag ready by 36 or 37 weeks of pregnancy, as it’s always possible you may go into labor before your due date. Although it’s okay to throw in some items at the last minute, you should have the bulk of the bag packed and easily accessible.
Hospital Bag Essentials for Mom
It’s essential to first pack the hospital bag for mom. Below are the items that you should consider packing:
#1 -Comfortable Clothes
This is a must for postpartum recovery. Make sure to pack something loose and comfortable that won’t restrict your movement. If you’re planning to breastfeed, consider bringing a nursing bra or tank top along with some comfortable pajamas, postpartum leggings, or lightweight sleep pants. Also, don’t forget a comfortable robe – it can be a lifesaver after delivery, no matter how you deliver.
#2 – Toiletries
Don’t forget your toiletries! Make sure to pack everything you’ll need to feel clean and fresh, including regular or dry shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush, lip balm, deodorant, extra hair ties, face wipes, and your glasses or contacts if you wear them.
#3 – Birth Plan
It’s a good idea to have multiple copies of your birth plan ready to go. You’ll want to keep one in your medical chart, give a few to your labor nurses, and maybe even display one in your hospital room. Be sure to emphasize any important details that you want to make sure everyone knows.
#4 – An Extra-Long Cell Phone Charging Cord
A fully charged phone is essential – you’ll be taking a lot of pictures and videos! A long charging cord is especially important since hospital beds are typically far from electrical outlets.
#5 – Snacks and Drinks
You’ll definitely want some easy-to-eat snacks and drinks, like bars, pretzels, dried fruit, electrolyte drinks like Gatorade, and a reusable water bottle.
#6 – Nipple Cream
Take it from us – If you plan to breastfeed, your nipples will thank you for being so proactive.
#7 – Adult Diapers and Other Postpartum Care Products
The hospital will provide pads and mesh underwear, but many Babylist parents say that adult diapers are more comfortable and feel more secure. Another option is to use reusable postpartum absorbent underwear. A perineal spray is also a priceless addition to your postpartum arsenal.
#8 – Breastfeeding essentials
Here are a few breastfeeding essentials to consider:
- Nursing bras or tank tops: choose comfortable, supportive options that allow for easy access.
- Breast pads: leaky boobs are a common postpartum experience, so be sure to bring some breast pads to avoid any embarrassing moments.
- Breast pump and accessories: if you plan on pumping, bring your breast pump, parts, and storage bags or bottles
#9 – Other baby essential
You may want to bring a small package of newborn diapers, or check with your hospital to see if they provide them. You’ll need wipes for diaper changes, so bring a pack or two.Think about swaddles or receiving blankets – the hospital will provide blankets, but having your own can make you and baby more comfortable.You may want to bring a few pacifiers with you.Finally, a Going-home outfit: choose a cute, comfortable outfit for your baby to wear home. Make sure it’s weather-appropriate.
#10 – Odds and Ends
Here’s a few final additions that might be nice to have!
- Baby book: bring a baby book to capture your little one’s first moments.
- Camera or video camera: make sure you have a way to capture all the special moments with your new baby.
- Sibling gifts: if you have older children, consider bringing them a small gift from the new baby.
- Birth announcement supplies: if you plan on sending out birth announcements, bring any supplies you need, like envelopes and stamps.
More Questions? Call your MOGA Specialist!
Packing your hospital bag can feel overwhelming, but with this comprehensive list, you’ll be well-prepared for your stay. Remember to pack your essentials first and then add in any nice-to-haves. And don’t forget to involve your partner or support person in the packing process—they can help you remember anything you might have forgotten.
At the Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecology Association, we want you to have a comfortable and stress-free delivery experience. If you have any questions about what to pack in your hospital bag or other concerns about your pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re here to support you every step of the way.